An attempt by the Pleasanton Unified School District to deny former Walnut Grove principal Jon Vranesh a hearing into its allegations against him has been rejected and the district has been ordered to immediately make more than 25 individuals available for depositions.
The Jan. 23 ruling by Administrative Law Judge Diane Schneider means a full hearing on the district's allegations, with witnesses, will be held beginning Feb. 17.
The court order was sought by Vranesh after PUSD counsel Kim Bogard of Folsom-based Kingsley-Bogard suspended depositions and informed Vranesh he had not properly demanded a hearing within 15 days of the district's formal accusations last November and had therefore forfeited his right to a hearing.
Vranesh was placed on administrative leave in October 2013 for allegedly creating a "hostile work environment" at the school site. He filed a lawsuit on Oct. 17, 2014 against PUSD, and on Nov. 19, 2014 the district notified Vranesh that a statement of charges against him had been adopted by the board of trustees, and that he would be dismissed within 30 days from the date of service of that notice unless he filed a written request for hearing. He was suspended without pay and benefits effective Nov. 18.
According to the court's order, Vranesh's attorney responded to district counsel Nov. 26, saying, "So that there is no misunderstanding, we inform you at the earliest possible moment that Mr. Vranesh is requesting/demanding a hearing." He also included Vranesh's intention to take depositions from PUSD employees.
The judge ruled that Vranesh's demand for a hearing was proper and that he was entitled to depose potential witnesses.
Vranesh filed with the district on Dec. 19 deposition notices for a total of 37 individuals to be deposed between Jan. 6 and 28. Fifteen witnesses were to be deposed between Jan. 6 and 9, but nine failed to appear.
The district's lawyers filed a motion on Jan. 12 to cancel Vranesh's notice of deposition and subpoenas for all depositions scheduled on or after Jan. 13.